UML modelling, XML generation import/export, design patterns, automated generation of documentation, XMI import/export. Benefits to the business accrue from adoption of model-driven architecture principles and practices. The tool and its features make application of these principles productive, efficient and shared by the architects community, thus helping achieve the benefits in practice
Improvements to My Organization:
Shared models capture digitally fundamental knowledge about the business and its representation in ICT systems. Tooling makes this knowledge shareable, reusable, validated, rigorous, open and turns it into a common asset of the Company rather than an arcane informal insight of a few individuals. Helps communicate with vendors and quickly bring new hires or new project members up to speed on projects
Room for Improvement:
In truth we are still using an older version of the product, and we are aware of a number of improvements that have been made to it since. We feel that compatibility with other MDA modelling products, particularly open source such as Visual Paradigm, Modelio or Capella is an area of improvement, as well as better integration with Integrated Development Environments. We would benefit from better support of REST web services and JSON. However we would not encourage ‘bundling’ Enterprise Architecture with IDEs: we prefer Sparx Systems to specialize in building the best modelling tool and features, but allowing a wide choice of IDES. The fundamental reason for this is that we cannot and do not wish to enforce the use of a single tool on all our partners: we want to be able to use a single model, not a single tool
Use of Solution:
We've been using it since 2010/11.
We've had no issues with the deployment.
We've had no stability issues.
We've been able to scale it to our needs without issue.
We have had very little, or no, need for customer service, which we count as excellent digital customer service level is delivered through the online tools and the forum.
It was in fact straightforward, which was one of the determinants for selecting it.
Implementation and training was done in house under control of an experienced MDA practictioner. We did in fact train our partners.
Depending of what items enter in the computation of ‘return’ the ROI can be estimated from high to very high, productivity gains measured in either shorter lifecycles or headcounts of personnel required to build effective models.
Other Solutions Considered:
We have evaluated other products both before and after the adoption of Enterprise Architect. We selected EI as the best quality/price to ease of learning and use.
The tool is not a substitute for brains; it boosts the productivity of your thinking process, resulting in the very fast production of good models, but of bad ones just as easily, except that a good thinker can sport bad designs early before they become implemented disasters.